Chive pancake (chive pocket) is a Chinese-style pan-fried chive pancake with chive and scrambled egg as filling, known as Jiu Cai He Zi (Chinese chive pocket) in Chinese. However, it is "large vegetarian potstickers".
Chinese Chives- Jiu Cai
Chinese chive (Chinese name: Jiu Cai ) is a garlic chive native to East Asia. It has an onion-like flavor and a distinctive aroma, making it a popular ingredient in Chinese cooking, especially in pancakes and dumplings. The plant has flat, grass-like leaves and small, edible white flowers. The stems are often used as a garnish or in stir-fries. And flowers are used to make hot pot sauce. And the tender leaves can be used in dumpling fillings, stir-fries, or soups.
It has multiple names
Chinese chive pocket, also called Chinese chive pancake or Jiu Cai He Zi is a type of dumpling that is filled with a mixture of Chinese chives and eggs. Sometimes there are other addons such as glass noodles or dried small shrimp. It is usually served as an appetizer or side dish in Chinese cuisine.
The name comes from the wrapping method since we need to seal the wrapper up just like a pocket or box. In Chinese we call poket and box as He Zi.
In fact, I would love to name it chive and egg large dumplings. Since Chinese New Year is coming, this might be another good substitution for traditional Chinese dumplings. It shares the same wrapper as a regular dumpling, but it is relatively larger in size.
How to get the crispy bottom of the chive pancake
In order to create the beautiful golden brown shell, use a large amount of oil and keep a slow fire during the pan-frying process and move the dumpling from time to time.
The spice mix -Chinese five-spice powder
Chinese five spice powder, though used only a small amount in this recipe, creates a faint aromatic flavor. You can also replace it with another spice mix. But a little amount enhances the flavors greatly.
How about a much softer version
For the dough: you can use hot boiling water to make a hot water dough (烫面) or cold water to make a hard dough (冷面). Hot water dough is much softer than hard dough. But dough made with cold water produces a more crisp shell. If you prefer the wrapper to be softer other than crispy, you can use half hot water and half cold water by the following method:
- Simply add the hot water first, and stir the flour while pouring in the water.
- Then add cold water. Stir well.
- start kneading until the dough is cooled enough.
Keep the perfect green color of Jiu Cai
Jiucai has a lovely green color that can be quite fresh and appealing. coating chives with oil before mixing them with the scrambled egg helps to hold the green color and avoid losing water.
make the filling
Mix chopped chive scrambled egg and dried small shrimp (optional). Add salt, soy sauce, and Chinese five-spice powder to make the fresh filling. Since the chive contains water, we will get a juicy filling after pan-frying.
Make the wrapper dough
To make the dough, add flour, salt water, sugar, and oil. Knead for 6-8 minutes over slow speed until smooth. Cover and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes. Sugar gives the wrapper a faintly sweet flavor and oil makes the wrapper more elastic and moist.
Make the wrappers
Making the wrapper of those pancakes is similar to making dumpling wrappers. But pancake wrappers should be more significant than dumpling wrappers (around 2 times larger).
To fold the dumpling, roll out the wrapper and then place around 1.5 tablespoons of filling in the center. Fold the two edges together and then use your thumb and index finger to spread a thumb size round from the edge of the wrapper and then repeat the action to create beautiful edges. Make sure they are completely sealed.
Pan fry Jiu Cai He Zi
Then pour some oil into the pan, add place the pancakes in. Use slow fire to pan-fry.
Chive Pancake (Chinese Chive Pocket)
- 2 tbsp. cooking oil for frying
For the wrapper
- 300 g all-purpose flour , around 2 cups
- 160ml water
- 1 tbsp. vegetable cooking oil
- a small pinch salt
- 2 tbsp. sugar , optional
For the filling
- 250 g fresh chive , remove the hard ends and chopped into small pieces (any question, check note 2)
- 4 middle size eggs
- 2 tbsp. dried small shrimps
- 1 tsp. salt or as needed
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. five spicy powders
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. cooking oil
For the wrapper
- Prepare the flour in a large bowl. Pour the water slowly to the bowl with flour and stir with a chop sticker. Stop adding water when there is no more extra dry flour. Set aside to cool down.
- Then knead the flour into smooth and soft dough.
- Shape the dough into a long circle and then shape into a 2 long logs around 2 inches in diameter.
- Scatter some flour on your operating board and cut one of the flour log to 8 small equal portions. Flat the portion and roll out to thin wrappers around 15cm in diameter.
For the filling
- Beat the egg in a small bowl. Heat up ½ tablespoon cooking oil in pan and stir-fry the egg. Cut the eggs into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, mix chive with egg pieces and dried small shrimps. Add salt, sesame oil and light soy sauce to make the filling.
Assemble and frying
- Assemble the dumplings one by one.
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in pan. Fry one side to golden-brown over slowest fire and then turn them over and slow the fire to fry until both sides becomes golden brown. You need to turn over several times during the process.
- You can use to make them as larger ones and then cut into small wedges before serving.
- Remove the hard ends of chive and then cut the tender parts into small pieces. So please do not double about the amount as we do not add meat in the filling and we will end up with 16 chive pockets. And each pocket consume large amount of filling. If you feel this is really too much, you can reduce it to 150g or around. The dish is named as chive pocket as chive is the main ingredient, not flavoring ingredient.